This activity was used to assess students' ability to identify and explain the theme of a poem or song using specific textual evidence. Students watched the video for India.Arie's song "Video." As the development piece of the lesson, students worked with a partner to identify possible themes of the song. As a whole class, students shared their themes and the evidence they found to support their themes. Then we compared what they came up with to my teacher model, which was almost identical to the themes they found. For their individual assessment, students completed the same task for Avril Lavigne's song "Complicated." The worksheet pages include a space at the bottom for teacher feedback, comments, and scoring.
Students were required to use the Better Answers writing strategy to construct their responses: Restate the question, provide a general answer, cite multiple examples of evidence from the text, explain the textual evidence, and conclude the response by restating the answer.